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  • The revolutionary ecological legacy of Herbert Marcuse – 2nd Edition

    This new edition includes an Afterword by Nnimmo Bassey: System Change Will Not Be Negotiated.

    The author appeals to the energies of those engaged in a wide range of contemporary social justice struggles such as ecosocialism, antiracism, the women’s movement, LGBTQ rights, and antiwar forces. As the dialectical counterpart of Marcuse’s Great Refusal, the book, which culminates with the ‘EarthCommonWealth Project’ is keyed to what we are struggling for, not just what we are struggling against. The author argues that regressive political forces must be countered today, and this is best accomplished through radical collaboration around an agenda recognizing the basic economic and political needs of diverse subaltern communities. System negation must become a new general interest. The author discusses core ethical insights from African philosophical sources, indigenous American philosophy, and radical feminist philosophy. Humanity’s first teachings on ethics are to be found in ancient African proverbs. These subsequently served also as a critique of colonialism and neocolonialism. Long-suppressed indigenous American sources supply a philosophical and political critique of Euro-centric economic and cultural values. They also offer an understanding of humanity’s place in nature and the leadership of women and attest to modes of cooperative and egalitarian forms of community. Feminist anthropology furnishes an historical context for understanding the origins of patriarchy and how to move beyond dominator power to new forms of partnership power. The book envisions the displacement and transcendence of capitalist oligarchy as such, not simply its most bestial and destructive components. This is a green economic alternative because its ecological vision sees all living things and their non-living earthly surroundings as a global community capable of a dignified, deliberate coexistence. It is searching for a new system of ecological production, egalitarian distribution, shared ownership, and democratized governance, having its foundation in the ethics of partnership productivity with an ecosocialist and humanist commitment to living our lives on the planet consistent with the most honorable and aesthetic forms of human social and political fulfillment.

     

  • Politique et culture dans la pensée émancipatrice Africaine

    Au cœur de nos problèmes politiques issus d’un capitalisme racial et d’une oppression (néo)coloniale en Afrique aujourd’hui se trouve l’absence de toute vision émancipatrice véritable.  Toute tentative de repenser une politique émancipatrice en Afrique doit pouvoir situer une vision universaliste de la liberté parmi les expériences culturelles singulières que les gens vivent. Les politiques émancipatrices quand elles existaient, bien que pensées dans les luttes pour la liberté ayant lieu dans des contextes historiques particuliers, mettaient toujours en vue une dialectique de ce genre quand elles étaient vraiment basées parmi les traditions populaires. Cependant, seulement une minorité de dirigeants intellectuels et militants comprenait l’importance d’une telle dialectique pour la pensée et l’action.

    Ce petit livre trace le contour et discute de deux points de vue très importants sur le rôle de la culture populaire dans la politique émancipatrice en Afrique. Chacun d’entre eux émane de formes d’exploitation capitalistes coloniales distinctes : le premier a vu le jour dans un contexte colonial classique tandis que le second est directement issu d’un contexte étatique néocolonial.  Toute politique émancipatrice est développée vis-à-vis le pouvoir d’état et toutes commencent avec un processus de discussion ou est formé un sujet collectif.  Un tel sujet politique doit être fondamentalement informé par et conçu en relation avec les cultures populaires.

    Les deux auteurs ci-inclus ont compris ce principe et mettent la culture populaire au centre de leur pensées politiques.  Le premier, Amílcar Cabral se réfère au rôle principal de la culture dans la lutte contre le colonialisme au Guinée Bissau dans les années 1970 ; le second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba insiste sur le rôle central de la culture populaire pour une politique émancipatrice dans la République Démocratique du Congo aujourd’hui.  Malgré la distance temporelle qui les sépare, tous les deux développent au centre de leurs politiques distinctes, une pensée dialectique qui déclenche des pensées universalistes depuis la culture populaire dans le présent.  C’est pour cela que leurs points de vue sont d’une importance capitale pour la pensée de la politique émancipatrice en Afrique aujourd’hui.

  • Sphères politiques et contrôle étatique : Les structures politiques de 
l’état néocolonial en Afrique

    Il s’agit d’une brève tentative d’orienter l’étude de l’État néocolonial en Afrique à travers une évaluation de la manière dont il gouverne son peuple.  On soutient que l’État produit différents modes de contrôle étatique en déployant différentes politiques sur différentes parties de la population. De cette manière, il peut combiner une règle véritablement démocratique à l’image de l’Occident sur certains tout en soumettant la majorité à des formes coloniales de domination.  Les subjectivités politiques importées de l’Occident et son obsession du discours sur les droits de l’homme sont largement réservées à une sphère de la société civile dans laquelle le droit d’avoir des droits est conféré aux citoyens.  Dans les domaines de la société incivile et de la société « traditionnelle », le droit aux droits n’est pas respecté par l’État, de sorte que différentes subjectivités, y compris régulièrement la violence, régissent la manière dont les problèmes politiques et leurs solutions sont abordés à la fois par l’État et par le peuple.  En conséquence, des subjectivités politiques distinctes prévalent dans la conceptualisation de la résistance populaire dans chacun des trois domaines, et il devient difficile de rallier des préoccupations et des conceptions aussi différentes au sein d’une lutte anticoloniale nationale.

    “Une dissection concise, dense et éclairante des rouages ​​de l’État africain post-indépendance qui trace également une voie vers l’imagination et le travail pour une véritable politique de libération.” — Ndongo Samba Sylla, chercheur principal, Fondation Rosa Luxembourg.

    USD $ 10.00
  • Left Alone: On Solitude and Loneliness amid Collective Struggle

    Left Alone brings together 15 authors and seven visual artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America to individually and collectively reflect – in words and images – on an urgent psycho-political issue that has not yet been explicitly addressed through a left-political lens, that is, Left Loneliness. Combining academic and more personal-political texts, including an interview, poetry, rap and a powerful short story, the book explores the contributors’ personally and/or vicariously lived experiences of Left Loneliness from a variety of genres and left political currents: Marxist, Feminist, Anti-/De-Colonial, Anti-Racist, Queer, Post-Soviet, Anarchist, Anti-Ableist and others. Says Feminist writer Sara Ahmed: “Loneliness might be what we are threatened with if we persist in being or doing what we are being or doing.” In this sense, Left Loneliness is neither a metaphor nor a secondary contradiction and definitely not a type of petty bourgeois ‘personalism.’ Rather, it might be considered one of the rank-and-file psycho-affective elements that both shapes and results from our myriad, intersecting, unremitting, yet always fragile and potentially shattering political attempts to revolutionise our inner and outer worlds. Given its (growing?) existence in our everyday left subjectivities, the book argues that Left Loneliness and related states of solitude, isolation and alienation, among others, have both debilitating and productive (epistemic) dimensions, with very concrete psycho-somatic repercussions for Left Mental and Physical Health and hence our capacity to persist and build on “being or doing what we are being or doing.” Given that continuing and deepening our multiple ongoing struggles for liberation will depend on our constant ability to (re-)create, sustain and care for both our individual selves and the communities that we are a part of, the aim of Left Alone is to contribute to the strengthening of these personal collectivities in action in-against-and-beyond capitalism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy by inviting comrade-readers into what we hope will be a deeply stimulating and enabling personal-political engagement with texts and images hailing from Argentina, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey/Kurdistan, Jamaica, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Germany and the USA. In short, in the words of one of the book’s authors, Lena Grace Anyuolo from Kenya, “My sisters and brothers, Come, Let us gather, To lay the structures for a joyous existence.” Yes, let’s.

  • Homestead, Homeland, Home

    This is a collection of observations and meditations by Ghanaian Professor Emeritus (York University, Toronto) and philosopher Ato Sekyi-Otu on events, issues, people and ideas culled from recent history and the world, from the US and Canada to Ghana. If there is a persistent thread in these entries, it is this: Virtually all of them testify to the ironic truth of the saying that there is no place like home, no place, that is to say, which looks like the lodestar called home or comes close to approximating its promise of being a just space of human flourishing. Most of the entries are, therefore, harsh, particularly those on the USA. That is because that nation, in his view, has, in recent history, made a major contribution to rendering the world and every homestead we inhabit unhomely and sabotaging attempts to better it. But no one or place is spared, certainly not the author’s native land, Ghana. Canada appears intermittently in these pages in rather fragmentary and contrastive observations. That paucity of comments may be taken to be the complement the author pays to Canada as a place of relative civility and glimmers of decency in a mad and cruel world. It is a short work of predominantly gloomy pictures. But there are a few countervailing images and invocations of hope here and there. There are 166 entries of unequal lengths arranged around 14 headings. These epigrams are contrapuntal variations on the philosopher’s searing imprecation and visionary invocation: unfinished ode, resounding with intermittent fury, to the dawn of human existence set free from all tyrannizing enclosures.

    This is the work of an unusually awesome intellect and flawless scholarship. As Ato himself may agree, if our scholars and writers have to do their work using the English language, then we of the neo-colonies are doing that language a whole lot of good. If the book was about nothing else than Professor Sekyi-Otu’s merciless dissection of the wretched story of the life and career of Kwasi Kwarteng, an arch-conservative member of the British Conservative Party, that alone makes the book a compelling read.

    — The late, Ama Ata Aidoo,
    author, poet, playwright and academic, author of
    Changes: A Love Story and Dilemma of a Ghost

    More precious, untimely observations from the most important black political philosopher writing in English. Read, learn, savor, be provoked, read again, repeat.

    Paul Gilroy,
    author The Black Atlantic

    The echoes of Fanon pervade this incisive analysis that spares no one, refuses any postulation of idyllic longings, and interrogates our responsibilities in every aspect of the histories that live within us. This work offers a powerful and incisive reflection on human freedom and responsibility in an affirmation of dignity that can only fully emerge upon recognition of the cruelty of the inhumanities that pervades our histories and their geographies.  It is an existential call to lay bare so that we might understand the biting complexity of indignity and reach through its morass to discover the depths of our humanity no matter how deeply that humanity is assaulted.  Homestead, Homeland, Home charts this journey with biting clarity and takes irony as a “vital organ of truth and justice” to the apogee of its power.

    Jacqueline M Martinez, Professor of Communication, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

    Arizona State University,
    Vice-President, Caribbean Philosophical Association

    I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud reading this book and the number of times I had to put it down in chest-tightening anguish. Ato Sekyi-Otu long ago demonstrated that he was a first-rate scholar. With these meditations, though, these ‘peeves’ as he hilariously describes them, he reveals himself a member of an even more remarkable group – those who dare attempt to rouse a world lost in shadow gazing. Homestead, Homeland, Home dissects global society and reveals a malignant inhumanity. It is a challenge and resource for those who can be shaken and a damning indictment on those who will not. It is bracing, severe, funny, heartbreaking, brilliant and very, very cool.’

    Bryan Mukandi, Senior Research Fellow,
    School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia

    This is a book of peeves well worth peeving about. It is testimony from a great elder of political thought whose heartfelt commitments to dignity, freedom, justice, and humane existence irritate his soul as a witness to the continued cruelty, degradation, and double standards unleashed against the Damned of the Earth; it is erudite outrage at so many ignored opportunities to make good on political responsibility to build a better world, a world otherwise. Every sentence, every paragraph, every page, every chapter is a Sankofic demand against historic amnesia and an encomium to re-member and, in doing so, courageously embrace our shared responsibility to build institutions for the urgent repair of nothing short of humanity’s homestead in which we are, in Sekyi-Otu’s words, “compelled to recognize that only we can save ourselves.”

    Lewis R. Gordon, author of
    Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization and
    Fear of Black Consciousness

    Homestead Homeland Home: Critical Reflections is political-philosophic tour de force by Ghana’s leading public intellectual Ato Sekyi-Otu. Each chapter brims with insight, irony (humorous and often indecent, like the George W. Bush highway in Accra), and analytical precision as he subjects the homesteads, Canada and the USA and the homeland, Ghana, to his partisan universalist critique. Ee weaves his reflections with the thoughts of philosophers, thinkers, and sages of the human condition and the poets, songwriters, and dreamers of human liberation.

    Nigel Gibson, author of
    Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination

    Raging against the solitary confinement of despair into compartmentalized finitudes and possessive particularisms, Ato Sekyi-Otu continues in these epigrammatic reflections to put his unmistakable mixture of resentment and fury at the service of a new principle of hope. In search of a place to call home, untethered to any exclusionary metaphysics of difference, he makes short shrift of the willful amnesia surrounding the criminal junction of capitalism, slavery, colonialism, and anti-black racism, with their interlocking systems of subjugation; refuses the preaching of collective guilt and abject misanthropy alike; and instills in the reader a concrete utopian belief in freedom from the dominion of race, egalitarian self-determination, and partisan universalism as common sense. These fragments of a vision of humanity unbound will leave no one untouched by their relentless tarrying with the world’s prose and intermittent poetry.

    Bruno Bosteels, author of The Actuality of Communism

    For those familiar with Sekyi-Otu’s work, Homestead, Homeland, Home is another instalment of what are gift offerings of his extraordinary mind and intellect. And for those not familiar, they better start reading these reflections right now, and don’t stop until you are fully done with them. Here is something to arouse the consciousness with beauty, poise, and quiet brilliance.

    Ato Quayson, Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Stanford University


  • Limits of the Black Radical Tradition and the Valueform

    Shemon Salam

    Limits of the Black Radical Tradition and the Value-form develops an immanent critique of the Black Radical Tradition to show the boundaries of its own categories, history, and epistemologies. Limits argues that the Black Radical Tradition developed in the national context of completing Reconstruction and the international context of colonialism-decolonization resulting in a particular form and content of the tradition. This process constituted the tradition, and subsequently the tradition is still working with the older set of tools that struggle to grapple with Afro-Pessimism, Indigeneity, racial capitalism, and even the George Floyd Uprising. Limits carefully reformulates the tradition so it can once again play a leading role in revolutionary struggles.

    Limits offers a critique of value-form theory, while still arguing that value-form theory is the direction that Black Marxism must head if it is to stay relevant to revolutionary struggles, decolonization, and the fight against anti-Blackness. The Black Radical Tradition demonstrates that value-form theory has a narrow understanding of class politics, reduces history to the struggle of factory workers, and is ultimately Euro-centric. The Black Radical Tradition can re-orient value-form theory to account for race, geo-politics, and other forms of oppression which are not reducible to an economic accounting.

    Concurrently value-form theory addresses shortcomings in Black Marxism’s analysis of Capital, value theory, and more concrete analysis of capitalism. Value-form theory removes the priority of labor, progress, and stages of development from Marxism. Paradoxically, this move on the part of value-form theory recovers a hidden history of Black revolutionaries dealing with the value-form. This recovery shows that the Black Radical Tradition was working towards its own analysis of the value-form as well.

    This double maneuver of recovery and critique of the Black Radical Tradition and value-form theory follows Cedric Robinson’s last words in Black Marxism, the traditions of Marxism and Black Radicalism must come together if they are going to overthrow racial capitalism. Limits follows in Robinson’s footsteps.

  • Politics and Culture in African Emancipatory Thought

    The current absence of any emancipatory vision for Africa lies at the heart of our political problems of racial capitalist and colonial oppression. Any attempt to rethink political emancipation on the African continent must be able to locate a universal conception of freedom within singular cultural experiences where people live. Irrespective of the specific manner in which such struggles for freedom were thought within different historical contexts, emancipatory politics always exhibited such a dialectic when it was based within popular traditions. Yet only some militant intellectual leaders understood the importance of this dialectic in thought.

    The present volume outlines and discusses two particularly important views concerning the role and importance of popular culture in emancipatory politics in Africa. Each is the product of distinct forms of colonial capitalist exploitation: the former saw the light of day within a colonial context while the latter is directly confronted by the neocolonial state. All emancipatory politics are developed in confrontation with state power, and all begin with a process of discussion and debate whereby a collective subject begins to be formed. The formation of such a collective political subject has been fundamentally informed by popular cultures on the African continent.

    The two authors whose essays are included here understood this and posit popular culture at the centre of their politics. The first, Amílcar Cabral, addresses the central role of popular culture in the independence struggle of Guinea Bissau in the 1970s; the second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, addresses the centrality of African popular culture in an emancipatory politics for the current Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the distance in time that separates them, both Cabral and Wamba-dia-Wamba develop a dialectics at the core of their politics which activates the universals of culture in the present. It is this that makes their views of central importance to emancipatory thought today.

  • Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context

    We are pleased to announce that your book Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context has been nominated for the Rik Davidson / Studies in Political Economy Book Prize in Political Economy. 


     

  • Social Media and Capitalism: People, Communities and Commodities

    This important discussion of the most recent developments in the commodification of media and culture goes beyond market-based analyses of relations of exchange and locates their central dynamic in the alienated forms of human relations that characterize contemporary forms of the capitalist mode of production.

    Peter Hudis, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Oakton Community College and author of Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism) and Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades.

     

    A vital exploration of Marxist and critical theory in relation to the lived reality of a society permeated by social media; features a strong discussion of the Global South.

    Kevin B. Anderson, Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study, Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies, and Dialectics of revolution : Hegel, Marxism, and its critics through a lens of race, class, gender, and colonialism (Daraja Press, 2020)

    Technology is one of the central elements of contemporary human life. The world as one knows it today is a space increasingly mediated by technological interventions, be it in the field of contemporary cultural expressions or political, organizational forms. Social media has played an important role in this transformation. Gone are the days when social media was merely a conduit for conversations. Today, it is a diverse field of operations spanning advertising mechanisms, branding processes and even direct commercial exchanges between users: the prime focus of this particular book. The book analyses real-world interactions, interviews and observations through the theoretical framework provided by Marxist political economy and social theory. It draws upon the theoretical scope provided by Marx’s dialectical methods of social analysis and uses it to unearth the effects that trading and commercial activities performed through virtual communities have on society and individuals.

     

     

  • Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth

    It is entirely fitting that in this fine book, those engaged in the radical praxis of healing are movements that are subverting the institutions of private property as a path to an emancipated society. Fanon’s legacy today is kept alive in their struggle. Raj Patel, Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary spirit lives on


    Coming sixty years after the publication of The Wretched of the Earth and his death from leukemia at the age of 36, Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth, edited by activist and scholar Nigel Gibson, provides a solid overview of the relevance of Frantz Fanon to the work of those of us who still believe that a just and humane world is both necessary and possible. Throughout the volume the contributors provide space and examples of a Fanonist development of radical humanism, which provides for the psychological development of the person within the context of consciousness raising, collective action and structural change. Through a variety of examples, the book also clearly demonstrates the fact that the agents of change do not simply have to be the usual suspects of the industrial working class but includes – and must include – the peasantry and the various manifestations of the lumpenproletariat. As noted by Gibson, “Fanon’s new humanism is a politics of becoming, based on the fundamental transformation of paralyzed Black and colonized subjects into new human beings through the liberation struggle” (p. 300). Timothy Wild, Review of African Political Economy. Dec 6, 2021.


    This monumental compendium of cosmopolitical provocations and decolonial insights does more than just correct the misreadings that have threatened recently to engulf and mystify Fanon’s work. These exhilarating essays and commentaries put his incendiary contribution back where it belongs: in the insurgent speculations and reconstructive efforts of creative thinkers struggling to transform the imperiled predicament of our planet. —Paul Gilroy, founding Director of the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Race and Racism at University College London


    *This is a wonderful book. It succeeds in extracting Fanon’s thought (the Wretched/Damned of the Earth in particular) from the realms of academia, Cultural Studies and Afropessimism and to locate it squarely where it originally belonged: within the domain of political practice, outside of which it makes very little sense. In academic reading, one remains a prisoner of the limits of the text itself; in a political reading, the text becomes a vehicle for addressing the problems raised by active militancy. Gibson has succeeded in bringing together an international array of brilliant contributors who all prove to be eloquent witnesses to the continued relevance of Fanonian concepts—such as the Manichean character of (neo)colonialism and racism, the corrupt nature of the so-called ‘national bourgeoisie’ and the continued relevance of ‘national consciousness’—in the contemporary expanded reproduction of racial capitalism on a world scale. What is particularly fascinating is the way in which intense studies of Fanon’s writings within the United States carceral system and South African informal settlements among other locations have enabled the production of political thought that takes Fanonian dialectical categories beyond their original subjective context, into concrete political practices combining the necessary experiences of particular struggles with conceptions of universal freedom. This is a militant work for militant readers. —Michael Neocosmos, Emeritus Professor in Humanities, Rhodes University, South Africa.

    *

    There is not one time, not one aspect of the world’s experience, that does not give credence to Fanon’s precepts. Our collective human history has taught us that the human  is bound to face attempts to crush her or his integrity, to condemn them to despicable exploitation, treacherous oppression. It is in the very nature of that experience that we have learned how Fanon shall never die. For his precepts and action remain always universally relevant. This is also what Fanon Today affirms. The book is fundamentally relevant and useful. It reminds us that in the face of exploitation and repression, the human and the humanist will always find ways to combat those. Dense and eclectic, strategically thought out and organized, critically stimulating, this book is as incisive as it is compelling. —Hanétha Véte-Congolo, President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association

    *

    In this collective labor of love of the here and the now, voices of the damned—that pathologized, incarcerated, and evicted majority of the world’s population—rise! From Algeria to Brazil, Ireland to Kenya, Palestine to Portugal, South Africa to Trinidad and beyond, they are breathing life into and actively humanizing our precious and oh-so-fragile earth. Meeting brutal structural violence with the courageous construction of democratizing institutions that nurture mental health, well-being, and solidarity, Fanonian praxis emerges in each chapter. Evincing a thoughtful agency that questions everything, the volume forges new relations spanning generations and locales. Through it, sixty years since the publication of Les damnés de la terre, Fanon’s insights reach out to us, beckoning us to carry on the tireless work of building a world of the “we.” —Jane Anna Gordon, author of Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement

    *

    Coming out of the pandemic, the greatest challenge is how we express our anger, how we make it a digna rabia, a “dignified rage”, as the Zapatistas say. Fanon must be part of the answer. This magnificent collection of essays helps us to focus our minds on that challenge, to direct our anger to the task of making a different world. An important book, an exciting book. —John Holloway, author of We are the Crisis of Capital: A John Holloway Reader

    *

    Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth, edited and cordinated by Nigel C Gibson, gives the opportunity to several intellectuals and activists with different backgrounds from Brazil to Algeria, from Pakistan to South Africa, to tell how the struggle against injustice and racism inscribe itself into the continuity of the Fanonian visionary legacy. Not to be missed!  —Hassane Mezine, Photographer, Film Director of Fanon hier, aujourd’hui

    *

    This is an indispensable book. It brings together many among the overlooked communities for whom Fanon actually wrote—the dispossessed, the downtrodden, the organic voices rising from the depths of misery on the verge of despair. What better way to commemorate the six decades since the publication of Les damnés de la terre than to remind readers of that great work that the people in solidarity with whom its ideas were generated not only speak but also write? Read and learn from these voices as, in those proverbial revolutionary words, the struggle continues. —Lewis R. Gordon, author of Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization

    *

    In Fanon Today, Nigel Gibson brings to life the Fanonian project of exploring the implications of radical theory in contemporary sites of struggles. This groundbreaking book commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Wretched of the Earth by exploring its significance in the work of intellectuals and organizers active in radical social movements.  Fanon Today is a timely book about the turbulent present and its connections to the long history of racial capitalism.  It is a landmark addition to the field of Fanonian studies and an absolutely necessary reading for anyone interested in decolonial thought and social movements. —Yasser Munif, author, The Syrian Revolution: Between the Politics of Life and the Geopolitics of Death

    *

    Fanon Today does not just bring Fanon into the immediate present, it also restores Fanon as a thinker of praxis, of organisation and struggle. There are a growing number of attempts to retrieve Fanon’s thought from its immediate historical context and put it to work in the present. But there are very few that show much interest in the fact that most of Fanon’s work was produced and grounded within struggle, within popular struggle. In keeping with Fanon’s own internationalism his thought is brought into struggles in Palestine, Pakistan, Ireland, South Africa, Kenya, the prisons in the United States and more. The worldliness of the work gathered here speaks, implicitly but lucidly, to the spirit of a thinker who was, always, in motion towards the world. Edited by Nigel Gibson, a leading Fanon scholar, including work by a group of exciting younger thinkers, and graced by a contribution from Ato Sekyi-Otu, also one of the best Fanon scholars, and a singular philosophical presence in the examination of the contemporary African condition, the book has real intellectual heft. It is essential reading for anyone who aims to engage Fanon as a comrade in struggle rather than solely as an interlocutor in more isolated and abstracted forms of academic theorizing. — Richard Pithouse, Editor, New Frame and author of Being Human After 1492


    Fanon Today is a dense and rich text written by authors from across the world interested in examining societal unrest and oppression through the lens of Fanon’s ideas. In the introduction, Gibson notes that Fanon’s Les Damnés de la Terre still resonates, 60 years after publication, due to the multiple crises we face and the realities of ‘those struggling not only to survive but also be free’. … the focus on mental health is woven through- out, as it examines the impact that colonialism and imperialism have on the individual and collective psyches of oppressed communities. Fanon Today is helpfully divided into three parts: Fanonian Militants, Still Fanon and Fanonian Practices. —Kairo Maynard. Dramatherapy 42(1-3) 78-9

  • Partisan Universalism: Essays in Honour of Ato Sekyi-Otu

    Critically engaging Ato Sekyi-Otu’s notion of partisan universalism, this timely volume of essays speaks directly to the onto-metaphysical issues that will give Africana thought the new foundations that will enable it to move beyond the lin- guistic turn, brush aside the ashes of Afro-pessimism, engage Badiou’s new mathematical universalism, and to launch new projects of liberation on decolonized grounds of greater epistemic independence. A must read for all concerned with the future of Africana theory and praxis. — Paget Henry, author of Caliban’s Reason.

    Responding to the invitation ‘to re-member severed but shareable things’, these lovers of truth, freedom, and dignity celebrate the searing intellect, generosity, wit, and compassion of the person and the scholar Ato Sekyi-Otu. … Combined with Sekyi-Otu’s autobiographical reflections of learning to be Black in the United States and insistence that Afropessimism turns the perverse ontology of the antiblack world into a Black ontology, this is a precious contribution. Not to be missed! —Jane Anna Gordon, author of Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement and co-editor (with Drucilla Cornell) of Creolizing Rosa Luxemburg

    Ato Sekyi-Otu’s thought is one of the most important and exciting in Africa today. The texts compiled in this volume celebrate and engage with the work of Sekyi-Otu … They bear eloquent witness to Sekyi-Otu’s stature as a thinker and to his consistent commitment to the universalization of humanity in both theory and practice.  Deeply anchored in African cultures and modes of life, Sekyi-Otu has shown how ideas of human universality are ingrained in African popular sayings and proverbs and are regularly reflected in artistic creations. — Michael Neocosmos, Emeritus Professor in the Humanities, Rhodes University, South Africa

    This anthology in honour of Ato Sekyi-Otu is indispensable for those concerned with Frantz Fanon’s ideas of ‘ false’ and ‘ true ‘ decolonisation and about social humanist critique of post-structuralism’ s truncated version of anti-colonialism. Sekyi-Otu accomplishes precisely such a critique in his Fanon’s Dialectic of Experience and in Left Universalism, Africacentric Essays. The essays here are exemplars of such a critique which, together with Fanon and Sekyi -Otu, build a legacy for envisioning a post-imperialist world. The authors of this volume rescue post-colonial studies from a stale and unfruitful post-structuralist reading of anti-colonialism by positing an apparent paradox of ‘left ‘ or ‘ partisan’ universalism which can then be dialectically resolved. Intellectually and politically active at once, this anthology shows how Sekyi-Otu and his co- authors can help the reader to move beyond a binary and solipsistic stance towards a project of a real emancipation, a ‘ true ‘ decolonisation. In this neither the living experience individual nor the collectivity implied in the notion of the human lose their specificity and universality. — Himani Bannerji, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Department of Sociology, York University


    This collection of essays celebrates the work of Ato Sekyi-Otu as a scholar, teacher and friend, marking his extraordinary contribution to the philosophy, politics and praxis of liberation. As Ato Sekyi-Otu has argued in his most recent book, Left Universalism, Africacentric Essays (Routlege 2019), universalism is an ‘inescapable presupposition of ethical judgment in general and critique in particular, especially indispensable for radical criticism of conditions of existence in postcolonial society and for vindicating visions of social regeneration’. Universalism must and can only be partisan. Edited by Gamal Abdel-Shehid and Sofia Noori, the collection includes essays by Stefan Kipfler, Patrick Taylor, Sophie Mcall, Gamal Abdel-Shehid, Jeremy M. Glick, Nigel C. Gibson, Jeff Noonan, Esteve Morera, Tyler Gasteiger, Olúfeṃ́i Táíẃò, Susan Dianne Brophy, Nergis Canefe, Chistoher Balcom, Lewis Gordon, and by Ato Sekyi-Otu himself.


    CONTENTS

    • Introduction: Gamal Abdel-Shehid
    • Fanon for a post-imperial world: On universals and other human matters: Stefan Kipfer
    • The Sea Menagerie: Esi Edugyan’s Atlantic: Patrick Taylor
    • Reconsidering Fanon’s language of recognition in Indigenous studies: Sophie McCall
    • On Fanon and Lacan: Continuities and structural psychiatry: Gamal Abdel-Shehid
    • Aimé Césaire’s Two ways to lose yourself: The Exception and the rule: Jeremy M. Glick
    • This Africa to Come: Nigel C. Gibson
    • Speaking for, speaking through, speaking with: Abstract and concrete universality in the struggle for human emancipation: Jeff Noonan
    • Universality: Notes towards rethinking the history of philosophy: Esteve Morera
    • Husserl and Tran Duc Thao: Crisis, renewal, and the ontology of possibility: Tyler Gasteiger
    • Can Kwame Gyekye’s moderate communitarianism take the individual seriously? Olúfeṃ́i Taíẃò
    • ‘Innocuous Nihilism’, social reproduction and the terms of partisanship: Susan Dianne Brophy
    • Marxism, Law and the Global South: Asiatic Mode of Production Debates, The Legal Subject and the Promise of Left Universalism: Nergis Canefe
    • Universalism and immanent critique in ‘The End of Progress and Left Universalism’: Christopher Balcom
    • CON-TEXTS OF CRITIQUE: Ato Sekyi-Otu
    • Afterword: Lewis Gordon
    • About the contributors

     

  • Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism and the New Scramble for Africa

    This African Edition of Extracting Profit is available only in East Africa at www.zandgraphics.com
    The original version was published by Haymarket Books and can be ordered here

    A piercing historical explanation for poverty and inequality in African societies today, and social impact of resource-driven growth.

    A piercing historical explanation of poverty and inequality in African societies today and the social impact of resource-driven growth, Extracting Profit explains why Africa, in the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century, has undergone an economic boom. Rising global prices in oil and minerals have produced a scramble for Africa’s natural resources, led by investment from U.S., European and Chinese companies, and joined by emerging economies from around the globe. African economies have reached new heights, even outpacing rates of growth seen in much of the rest of the world. Examined through the lens of case studies of the oil fields of the Niger River Delta, the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline and the East African infrastructure boom, this period of “Africa rising” did not lead to the creation of jobs, but has instead fueled the extraction of natural resources, profits accruing to global capital, and an increasingly wealthy African ruling class.

    Extracting Profit argues that the roots of today’s social and economic conditions lie in the historical legacies of colonialism and the imposition of so-called “reforms” by global financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The chokehold of debt and austerity of the late twentieth century paved the way for severe assaults on African working classes through neoliberal privatization and deregulation. And while the scramble for Africa’s resources has heightened the pace of ecological devastation, examples from Somalia and the West African Ebola outbreak reveal a frightening surge of militarization on the part of China and the U.S.

    Yet this “new scramble” has not gone unchallenged. With accounts of platinum workers’ struggles in South Africa, Nigerian labor organizing and pro-democracy upheavals in Uganda and Burkina Faso, Extracting Profit offers several narratives of grassroots organizing and protest, pointing to the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change, in Africa and beyond.

    And in an updated Preface, the author analyses the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and escalating climate emergency, as both the crises and resistance to extraction accelerate across the continent.


    Reviews
    • “Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit – Imperialism, Neoliberalism and The New Scramble for Africa is at once historical and contemporary. It unpacks ongoing resource crimes by analytically exposing its historical roots and pointing to ways by which the oppressed can cut off the bonds that lock in their subjugation.” —Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation

      “Lee Wengraf provides an important reminder that Africa’s position within the world economy is heavily determined by its unequal insertion into the global capitalist system and ongoing manifestations of imperialism.” –James Chamberlain, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute

      “Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit provides a breathtakingly detailed account and analysis of some of the major socioeconomic ills that have been plaguing Africa for centuries. Amongst the host of issues she tackles, arguably the most consequential are mass poverty in African societies, their indefensible economic inequalities and the steady plundering of the continent’s resources, starting from the slave-trade era up till the present-day.” –Remi Adekoya, Review of African Political Economy

      “Extracting Profit offers several narratives of grassroots organizing and protest, pointing to the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change, in Africa and beyond.” Developing Economics

      “Evidently, this book is well-researched and it contributes to the expansion of the frontiers of Marxist scholarship on Africa’s development dilemma within the global capitalist order. This book lends credence to the pioneering works of such notable radical scholars as Andre Gunder Frank, Walter Rodney, and Samir Amin among several others. It should be read by students and teachers of political economy, development studies, Marxism and philosophy.” Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

      Extracting Profit provides a great arch of scutiny from the earliest carve-up of the African continent, through colonialism, war, imperialism, to the recent neoliberal takeover. The book demonstrates the continued importance of Marxist analysis on the continent, asserting the centrality of class analysis and a project of revolutionary change. Wengraf provides us with a major contribution, that highlights contemporary developments and the role of China on the African continent that has perplexed and baffled scholars. An indispensable volume.” —Leo Zeilig, author of Frantz Fanon: The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution

      “The history of resource frontiers everywhere is always one of lethal violence, militarism, empire amidst the forcing house of capital accumulation. Lee Wengraf in Extracting Profit powerfully reveals the contours of  Africa’s 21st century version of this history.  The scramble for resources, markets, and investments  have congealed into a frightening militarization across the continent, creating and fueling the conditions for further political instability. Wengraf documents how expanded American, but also Chinese, presence  coupled with the War on Terror,  point to both the enduring rivalry among global superpowers across the continent and a perfect storm of resource exploitation. Wengraf offers up a magisterial synopsis of the challenges confronting contemporary Africa.” —Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley

      “One of the most well-known stylized facts of Africa’s recent growth experience is that it has been inequality-inducing in ways that previous growth spurts were not. Lee Wengraf, in her new book Extracting Profit , expertly utilises the machinery of Marxian class analysis in making sense of this stylized fact. Along the way we learn much about Africa’s historical relationship with imperialism and its contemporary manifestations. This book should be required reading for all those who care about Africa and its future.” —Grieve Chelwa, Contributing Editor, Africa Is A Country

      “In recent years countries in the African continent have experienced an economic boom—but not all have benefited equally. Extracting Profit is a brilliant and timely analysis that explodes the myth of “Africa Rising,” showing how neoliberal reforms have made the rich richer, while leaving tens of millions of poor and working class people behind. Lee Wengraf tells this story within the context of an imperial rivalry between the United States and China, two global superpowers that have expanded their economic and military presence across the continent. Extracting Profit is incisive, powerful, and necessary: If you read one book about the modern scramble for Africa, and what it means for all of us, make it this one.” —Anand Gopal, author, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes

      “Thorough and thoughtful, Wengraf’s book has a radical depth that underscores its significance. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone who cherishes an advanced knowledge on the exploitation of Africa as well as the politics that undermines Africa’s class freedom.” —Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, Convener, Youths Against Austerity and General Secretary of the United Action for Democracy, Nigeria

      “Extracting Profit is a very important book for understanding why the immense majority of the African population remain pauperised, despite impressive growth rates of mineral-rich countries on the continent. It continues the project of Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. And in several ways, it also goes beyond it, capturing the changing dynamics of global capitalism 45 years after Rodney’s magnus opus.

      In this book, Lee Wengraf debunks the myth of “Africa Rising” and the supposed expansion of an entrepreneurial middle-class, revealing “reforms” imposed by international financial institutions as mechanisms for fostering imperialism in an era of sharpening contradictions of the global capitalist economy. The adverse social, economic, political and environmental impact of these are elaborated on as a systemic whole, through the book’s examination of the sinews of capital’s expansion in the region: the extractive industries.

      But, Wengraf does not stop at interrogating the underdevelopment of Africa. Her book identifies a major reason for the failures of national liberation projects: while the working masses were mobilised to fight against colonial domination, the leadership of these movements lay in the hands of aspiring capitalists, and intellectuals. The urgency of the need for a strategy for workers’ power internationally, she stresses correctly, cannot be overemphasized.

      Reading Extracting Profit would be exceedingly beneficial for any change-seeking activist in the labour movement within and beyond Africa.” —Baba Aye, editor, Socialist Worker (Nigeria)

  • Lenin150 (Samizdat): 2nd expanded edition

    For all the official historiographic efforts at forging a mythologised image of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov as the austere, no-nonsense, professional revolutionary, the really existing flesh and blood Lenin understood and appreciated that the most materialist action an individual must carry out without fault to metabolise the struggle for communism is to breathe. Not just biologically respire but consciously breathe. Breathe for oneself and breathe for and with others. If it is indeed our desire to breathe new life into the long choking red star, a new oxygenic Communist politics of walking and breathing is what we must aspire to, inspire, respire and encourage.

    See the Description below for further details.

  • Being human after 1492

    Richard Pithouse’s extraordinary overview of the what is means to be human after 1492:

    On 9 August 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The movement that grew out of the rebellion that followed inaugurated a new sequence in the struggle against racism in the United States. As with previous sequences in that struggle it quickly acquired an international dimension, including here in South Africa. One aspect of this international moment has been an urgent confrontation with the reality that what Césaire called ‘abstract equality’ does not, on its own, mark an end to the racialization of life.

    In the United States, and elsewhere, there is a sense that history is as present as it is past. Just over a decade ago, Baucom observed that “what-has-been is, cannot be undone, cannot cease to alter all the future-presents that flow out of it. Time does not pass or progress, it accumulates”. It is the sense that time accumulates into the present that has often led to the invocation of William Faulkner’s famous line from Requiem for a Nun in discussions about race: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

    The past does not merely haunt or shape the present via the enduring power of deep and impersonal structural forces. Across Europe, and in settler societies like Australia, Brazil and the United States, racism is an increasingly explicit and menacing presence at the centre of political and social life. White revanchism has rallied, often under demagogic leadership, to secure the racial order that emerged from the event of 1492. It has already resulted in Brexit in England, the impeachment of an elected President in Brazil and the election of a figure as grotesque as Trump in the United States.

    We will not be able to transcend the epoch that began in 1492 without a politics that can confront and defeat this revanchism. And we will not have transcended this epoch until “things, in the most materialistic meaning of the word” are, as Fanon insists, “restored to their proper places”. But the catastrophe from which we are all derived is not solely a matter of material dispossession and accumulation. As Michael Monahan argues, in conversation with Wynter, “the history of colonialism is also the history of the emergence of the idea of Europe and of Europeans, and . . . it is such ideas and cultural practices that inevitably shape our consciousness, conditioning what counts as normal and, ultimately, as rational”.

     

  • Fanon and the rationality of revolt

    We inhabit extraordinary times: times in which we are acutely aware of the intensity of what revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon called “the glare of history’s floodlights.”  The velocity and scale at which the revolt against police murder that began in Minnesota after the death of George Floyd on May 25th and moved throughout the US, and then other parts of the world, was astonishing. It was impossible to predict, but then, in retrospect, it is George Floyd’s death becomes a nodal point: calling for action as well as rethinking and self-clarification. Thinking about this moment with the world revolutionary Frantz Fanon, we need to be aware of continuities and discontinuities — or, as he puts it, opacities — between the ages, his and ours. Fanon is always speaking to us, but often in ways we cannot hear. We have to work to listen to him and to understand the new contexts and meanings in relative opacity. It is this constant dialogue that helps illuminate the present and enable ongoing fidelity to Fanon’s call in the conclusion of The Wretched of the Earth the necessity to work out new concepts to confront one of Fanon’s greatest concerns, the betrayal of the revolutionary movement. In this pamphlet we consider how Fanon’s idea of liberation is connected with “the rationality of revolt.” The practice of engaging Fanon not only with revolt but with the reason or rationality of revolt connects with Fanon’s idea of how this liberated humanity is a product of a new consciousness of collectivity open to rethink everything.

  • Dialectics of revolution : Hegel, Marxism, and its critics through a lens of race, class, gender, and colonialism

    This book collects four decades of writings on dialectics, a number of them published here for the first time, by Kevin B. Anderson, a well-known scholar-activist in the Marxist-Humanist tradition. The essays cover the dialectics of revolution in a variety of settings, from Hegel and the French Revolution to dialectics today and its poststructuralist and pragmatist critics. In these essays, particular attention is given to Lenin’s encounter with Hegel and its impact on the critique of imperialism, the rejection of crude materialism, and more generally, on world revolutionary developments. Major but neglected works on Hegel and dialectics written under the impact of the struggle against fascism like Lukács’s The Young Hegel and Marcuse’s Reason and Revolution are given full critical treatment. Dunayevskaya’s intersectional revolutionary dialectics is also treated extensively, especially its focus on a dialectics of revolution that avoids class reductionism, placing gender, race, and colonialism at the center alongside class. In addition, key critics of Hegel and dialectics like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Antonio Negri, Pierre Bourdieu, and Richard Rorty, are themselves analysed and critiqued from a twenty-first century dialectical perspective. The book also takes up the dialectic in global, intersectional settings via a reconsideration of the themes of Anderson’s Marx at the Margins, where nationalism, race, and colonialism were theorized alongside capital and class as key elements in Marxist dialectical thought. As a whole, the book offers a discussion of major themes in the dialectics of revolution that still speak to us today at a time of radical transformation in all spheres of society and of everyday life.

  • Class, gender, race & colonialism: The ‘intersectionality’ of Marx – Thinking Freedom Pamphlet

    It is important to see both Marx’s brilliant generalisations about capitalist society and the very concrete ways in which he examined not only class, but also gender, race, and colonialism, and what today would be called the intersectionality of all of these. His underlying revolutionary humanism was the enemy of all forms of abstraction that denied the variety and multiplicity of human experience, especially as his vision extended outward from Western Europe. For these reasons, no thinker speaks to us today with such force and clarity.

    It is clear today that the emancipation of labour from capitalist alienation and exploitation is a task that still confronts us. Marx’s concept of the worker is not limited to European white males, but includes Irish and Black super-exploited and therefore doubly revolutionary workers, as well as women of all races and nations. But, his research and his concept of revolution go further, incorporating a wide range of agrarian non-capitalist societies of his time, from India to Russia and from Algeria to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, often emphasising their gender relations. In his last, still partially unpublished writings, he turns his gaze Eastward and Southward. In these regions outside Western Europe, he finds important revolutionary possibilities among peasants and their ancient communistic social structures, even as these are being undermined by their formal subsumption under the rule of capital. In his last published text, he envisions an alliance between these non-working-class strata and the Western European working class.